Ridley Scott Wants to Release a 4.5 Hour Cut of ‘Napoleon’
Ridley Scott is the king of the director’s cut. A huge swath of his films, from Alien to Blade Runner to Kingdom of Heaven to Black Hawk Down to Legend to The Counselor, are available in multiple versions. if you like a director who loves to tinker with (and extend) his work after the fact, Ridley is your man.
So this is not shocking: Scott already has a longer version of his next movie, Napoleon, that he’d like to release. Supposedly the theatrical cut of Napoleon, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the famous French emperor, runs over two and a half hours. Not a short film! But Scott also cut together an even more expansive version.
Per Empire Magazine, Scott has a cut of Napoleon that runs some 270 minutes — four and a half hours! — which “features more of [Napoleon’s wife] Joséphine’s life before she meets Napoleon. He’d love Apple (who funded the film) to eventually screen it.” Scott called this version of the movie “fantastic.”
Here is Napoleon’s official synopsis:
Directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by David Scarpa, “Napoleon” stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader. The film is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.
270 minutes would be long even by Ridley Scott director’s cut standards. (The final version of Kingdom of Heaven, for example, ran 194 minutes — over an hour shorter than this Napoleon cut.) Still ... if it’s really fantastic, why wouldn’t you want to watch it? And given that this movie was funded by Apple, who is releasing Napoleon on their Apple TV+ streaming service after its run in theaters, it doesn’t seem implausible that they might want this director’s cut as additional content to draw in new subscribers.
The not-270 minute version of Napoleon is scheduled to open in theaters on November 22. It will then stream on Apple TV+.